As Brexit talks reach deadlock, David Davis considers drastic step of putting in a full day’s work

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The prospect of a looming cliff edge has forced the DExEU into adopting radical methods like staying overnight in Brussels, taking minutes in meetings, creating files and allowing an intern to man a small office in the EU building.

Even David Davis has had to make sacrifices and agree to stay in discussions for more than two hours.

Simon Williams, a senior UK negotiator, explained that EU obstruction and thirst for revenge has forced the DexEU into uncharted territory.

“You can see it in that famous photo of our first meeting. We come in with a cheerful smile and a can-do attitude and the Eurocrats hide behind their large files and carefully prepared documents. Since then it’s been non-stop questions and complete contempt for our brilliant slogans.

“Even at this late stage, they keep using stalling tactics like asking us what we want. But if they think they can force us to spell out a coherent vision for the future they’ve got another think coming.”

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The new working methods put extra strain on a department suffering from dire staff shortages. FOI requests have revealed that 1 in 5 civil servants have left David Davis’ ministry.

Although none have commented publicly, off the record many claim they left because of chaotic decision-making, unclear remits, lack of strategic vision, shifting objectives but mainly because they did not want their name “connected to the biggest foreign policy fuck-up since the Suez”.